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  5. Downtown / Gaslamp

Dobson's Bar & Restaurant

4.3
4.3
1178 Reviews
$30 and under
Californian
Dobson's Bar and Restaurant is a hidden treasure in the heart of Downtown San Diego/Gaslamp Quarter. For the last 37 years, this has been the hot spot for business lunches and frequented by many local and nationwide celebrities. Paul Dobson, the namesake for Dobson's bar and restaurant, is one of America's few professional Bullfighters. The food is California cuisine with a touch of Italian, French, Spanish and Asian cuisine. One thing that both local San Diegans and Zagat can agree on is that this is one of the top restaurants in San Diego. Due to the limited seating and popularity, reservations are highly recommended. Owner Paul Dobson "works a room better than Sinatra", which explains why this "local tradition" downtown remains, "after all these years", a "high-powered, hobnob spot"; the Cal kitchen "serves up delicious, innovative food, along with old standbys" ("have the mussel bisque and think of heaven").

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2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 18 times today
Private dining

Private dining

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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Californian, French, Seafood

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Mon–Fri 11:00 am–3:00 pm Dinner Mon–Sat 3:00 pm–9:00 pm Sat 4:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (619) 231-6771

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Executive chef

    Martin San Roman

  • Catering

    We offer catering for private events. Please call the restaurant to inquire about details.

  • Private party facilities

    Dobson's proudly introduces our new Private Dining Planning Department! Your ideas and our expertise will create just the right menu. You can even rent the whole restaurant for your private event!!! For more information please contact us directly.

  • Private party contact

    Marcos Luciano: (888) 566-7151

  • Neighborhood

    Downtown / Gaslamp

  • Cross street

    Broadway

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wine

Popular dishes

What 1,178 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.3
4.3 based on recent ratings
  • 4.3Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 4.2Ambience
  • 3.9Value

NoiseModerate

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  1. G

    Grandude

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Close to the trolley and theatres. Make reservations if you are on a schedule.
  2. JS

    JoyceS

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service3ambience4
    One disappointment, they forgot to put the chicken on my caesar salad and it took 20 minutes to get my entre back with the chicken. My guest was finished with lunch before I could start. You would think that they would have offered a free dessert or something?
  3. A

    Aland

    Las Vegas

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on November 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Dobson’s is always a great spot, whether it’s for drinks at their iconic bar, dinner in their quiet upstairs dining room, or just appetizers. I find that the ambience is always very sophisticated and the food and drinks are excellent. Dobson’s is in my top 3 favorite hang outs in San Diego.
  4. LL

    LeonL

    San Diego

    9 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on November 20, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience2
    Dobson’s came highly recommended but honestly it was mediocre. The service was great. The menu is limited and not very interesting. The food was well prepared but average. Maybe my expectations were too high but for the price it was just an average experience at a high price. Location is very convenient for before or after a show at the Civic Theatre.
  5. r

    rables

    San Diego

    31 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on November 20, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    Would have preferred upper level seating vs crowded and noisy bar area. Food was delicious. Server was doing his best on a busy night. Great location, and perfect pre theatre dining location.
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love their food. Always great service and atmosphere
  7. LN

    LizN

    San Francisco

    34 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on November 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent service, delicious food, beautiful, warm venue. Loved this hidden gem. We’ll be back!
  8. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on November 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great pre-show dinner! Easy to get to, excellent food, great service! Felt like a NYC getaway! Noise level was a smidge loud but it wasn’t a problem - the positive energy was there. Will be back for sure!
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Lovely dinner w 4 friends and family. Bisque is always a favorite. The group was Sea Bass all around! Fabulous food and service. Will be back soon, thank you Dobson’s!
  10. f

    fluteplayer610

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    Decent value for a nice dinner before a show at the Civic Theater. We were able to get a last minute reservation here when other places were full. If you're able, ask to sit upstairs instead of downstairs for better ambiance. Also, the sourdough bread was worth adding to the meal.
  11. CB

    CarlB

    Sacramento

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience4
    I've dined here for years and the meals are always excellent.
  12. CH

    ConnorH

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall4food5service2ambience5
    Food was great. Highly recommend the muscle bishe. Ambiance was romantic with a live saxophonist playing upstairs. Seating was a bit crowded but it did not bother my date and I. Service was below par. It may have just been the night we came but there was only one waiter for the entire upstairs. Overall it was a great experience. Highly recommend the restaurant to anyone that wants to have a nice night out in DTSD.
  13. AD

    AdamD

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    Food took along time to get. Other people had their food before we did and the were seated 15-30 minutes after us.
  14. FH

    FrankH

    San Diego

    20 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    The food was good, pricy, but good. The restaurant/bar is small and the dining is mostly upstairs. The seating is tight and if that’s make you comfortable I would not go. I doubt we will be back. Dinner for 2 with salad split, desert and 2 beers, glass of wine with tip $196.00.
  15. JT

    JeannieT

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall2food2service3ambience3
    food was ok-seabass was fishy but ok- house wine was good.
  16. S

    Steve

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    Order of Escargot appetizer had very small snails. For entree ordered the Filet Mignon Chez Martin but waiter delivered the standard Filet - was cooked properly and the waiter did later bring the escargot gravy in a small dish, but only after the meal was 80 % complete. Was satisfactory but disappointing. Limited wine list.
  17. L

    Luna

    San Diego

    83 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    83 reviews

    Dined on November 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent service; excellent food. Perfect for before/after theater.
  18. a

    amepa

    San Francisco

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 10, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    Food was meh! Service was slow. Decor is in need of a serious update. If all these things were addressed then this place could really be something! Until then can’t say I’d return or recommend.
  19. CR

    CherylR

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 10, 2022

    overall2food1service4ambience3
    Filet mignon came out twice practically raw. The chicken Marsala was dry
  20. C

    Chris

    San Diego

    9 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on November 5, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Love the clubby feel of Dobson’s, the mussel bisque, the sour dough bread and the hospitality. A dependably good experience!
  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 4, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Food was very good, my only complaint is the lighting at our table was so low that I couldn’t clearly see the food on my plate.
  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Overall a great experience. Food was delicious as always and service was superb.
  23. MB

    MarisaB

    Atlanta

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on October 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Scallops were very good! Great ambience. Recommend.
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 23, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience3
    We enjoyed the food and service was good at the beginning. Towards the middle and end we had to look for our waiter and ask for dessert menu and our check..
  25. LW

    LindaW

    San Diego

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on October 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My fav after work restaurant located just a few blocks away. I Never get tired of spending time with friends here.
  26. D

    Dave

    Orlando

    21 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on October 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent old school food and atmosphere. The “famous” bisque really is fantastic, also had ravioli and charcuterie, all great.
  27. B

    Burque

    Houston

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 18, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    Not very busy when we went on a Monday night. Mussel bisque was good not great. Mushroom ravioli was drowning in sauce. Reasonably priced, especially wine. Service was very attentive.
  28. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 17, 2022

    overall3food4service3ambience4
    Waiter was very nice, but food took an hour to arrive.
  29. m

    mlonthebeach

    San Diego

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on October 15, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Love the feel of Dobson’s. Background sax player was excellent. Server attentive & friendly. Our food was excellent with the exception of the duck breast which was very tough…even difficult to cut with a steak knife.
  30. LB

    LilBuc

    San Diego

    75 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    75 reviews

    Dined on October 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything was wonderful! From the cocktails to appys to dinner. We were a group of 4; we had filet, duck, Caesar salad, mussel bisque, salmon appy. We definitely will be back and make this one of our “go to” spots.
  31. JE

    JoeE

    San Diego

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on October 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Dobsons is a San Diego icon. When Paul Dobson opened La Gran Tapa 40 something years ago before there was much of anything downtown, to his long time spot in the Spreckels Building where he's served the political elite, theatre goers and regular patrons like us for decades, we've been treated to great food and libations. Every time we go, it's San Diego hospitality at its' genuine very best. Keep up the great tradition, Don Pablo. We are eternally grateful!
  32. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 11, 2022

    overall2food3service5ambience4
    Went for our 24th wedding anniversary and the drinks were great. Ordered one app the shrimp and mushrooms an we were very happy. My wife ordered the salmon and it was wonderful. I ordered the rib eye chop and when it came it was way over cooked and they took it away and re made it. It came out almost raw. So 3rd time was a winner. That said if they cook it right some of the best food in town
  33. TM

    TiffanyM2016

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 9, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    The mussel bisque, Scallops, and sea bass was very good.
  34. SS

    SamanthaS

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 7, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience2
    Food was okay but service was not great and portions of our order were wrong. Not sure I would bother to return.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Seattle

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on October 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Dobson’s is a classic, but it hasn’t lost a step thru the years. Made us sad we’d waited so long between visits. All four of us enjoyed our meals. Mussel bisque was wonderful, the palm salad was great, ditto the escargot; and the duck à l’orange was terrific, too. Nice wine list. Both food and wine were reasonably priced. Wish we’d had room for dessert!
  36. AH

    AprilH

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 2, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience2
    Food was great. Restaurant could use an overhaul. Very outdated and doesn’t reflect an upscale restaurant. The servers were not as attentive as they should be for the price.
  37. JB

    JoanB

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on October 2, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Everything was going well until I got the bill. They added a $4+ surcharge to the bill. I asked the waiter what it was for and he said it was for using a charge card. At that point he didn’t even know I was using a charge card! We used the Restaurant Week menu so we were well aware of the price, but it did seem overpriced for the meal we got. With tip, the total came to $145.00 for two of us. I cannot recommend this restaurant due to the $4.00 surcharge.
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Sacramento

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Date night with the wifey. Food was fantastic
  39. LM

    LizabethM

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The Restaurant Week menu was delicious and a value. Always appreciate the vintage urban vibe of the place -- imagining theater goers from another time stopping in. Great entertainment from the sax-playing singer...
  40. PC

    PatriciaC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The filet w/escargot was magnificent! I gave compliments to your chef.. I ordered a strawberry margarita, had to send it back as it didn’t look or taste strawberry. 2nd one came the same. $55 for dinner was great but with 2 drinks and tip mine alone was $104.00, they also added a $4.00 surcharge too.

FAQs

Dobson's Bar & Restaurant offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (619) 231-6771.

Dobson's Bar & Restaurant is rated 4.3 stars by 1178 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 18 times today
Google Map for Dobson's Bar & Restaurant

956 Broadway Circle, San Diego, CA 92101

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Broadway

  • Neighborhood

    Downtown / Gaslamp

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Mon–Fri 11:00 am–3:00 pm Dinner Mon–Sat 3:00 pm–9:00 pm Sat 4:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Californian, French, Seafood

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Martin San Roman

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wine

  • Phone number

    (619) 231-6771

  • Catering

    We offer catering for private events. Please call the restaurant to inquire about details.

  • Private party facilities

    Dobson's proudly introduces our new Private Dining Planning Department! Your ideas and our expertise will create just the right menu. You can even rent the whole restaurant for your private event!!! For more information please contact us directly.

  • Private party contact

    Marcos Luciano: (888) 566-7151

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